Opening the lock gates to the potential of the waste economy

waste economy
13 Aug 2018

Manufacturers and generators of waste have long been restricted from directing components of their waste or waste stream for recovery and re-use due to legislative hurdles.

Also known as “by-products”, these components of waste or waste stream are recognised as having characteristics that are equivalent to raw material or that can be utilised as a beneficial resource. Re-use or recycling of these by-products has significant economic and sustainability benefits.

After years of anticipation, the Minister of Environmental Affairs (the “Minister”) has, in terms the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 59 of 2008 published “Regulations Regarding the Exclusion of a Waste Stream or a Portion of a Waste Stream from the Definition of Waste” (the “Regulations”).

The Regulations:

• prescribe how to apply for an exclusion;

• exclude permitted uses of a waste from the definition of waste; and

• promote diversion of waste from landfill disposal to its beneficial use.

A person or any group of persons who generate waste may apply to the Minister for the exclusion of a waste stream or a portion of such waste stream for beneficial use from the definition of waste.

Considering the economic and sustainability benefits of re-using and/or recycling by-products generated during manufacturing and generation of waste, organisations should consider applying to the Minister to have such waste or waste stream excluded from the definition of waste.

If you would like a more in-depth analysis or legal advice on the submission of an application for exclusion of a waste stream, please do not hesitate to contact us.

See also: New requirements for mine dumps and stockpiles

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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